Student Projects

Thinking outside the box: Novel strategies to treat viral infections and cancers

Project Supervisor/s

This project is suitable for Master or PhD Students.

The control of viral infections and cancers is reliant on a functioning and organised immune system. However, uncontrolled virus replication and cancer growth result in immune dysfunction and lead to disease progression. This project aims to identify new targets, which have the potential to activate or rescue dysfunctional immune cells and increase their ability to fight the disease.

This work will utilise genetically modified mouse strains to study the role of specific molecules in regulating the function of immune cells (T cells and natural killer cells) and determine how they affect viral and tumour control. Promising molecules will be further studied in blood samples from patients as well as humanised mouse models, which are mice engineered to carry human immune cells. These molecules may be exploited for the development of novel immunotherapies or the improvement of existing immunotherapies to treat viral infection and cancer.

During this project, students will learn techniques in pre-clinical drug development, including animal handling and therapeutic avenues for drugs or adoptive cell therapy. They will also develop expertise in immunology methods, including cell culture, immune cell proliferation/activation/killing assays, flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, in addition to molecular biology methods (e.g., PCR and RT-PCR). For PhD students, the project will also involve verifying immune mechanisms using humanised mice or patient blood samples.

To apply for this project, please contact the project supervisor/s

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